A “closed, sorry for the inconvenience” sign posted by a local merchant got us thinking about how shops can strive to be more customer-friendly.
It’s clearly becoming increasingly critical to for businesses to shift their thinking towards the heavily customer-centric in order to stay successful. So when we walked past the above note posted in a SoHo boutique, we couldn’t help but wonder about customers who make trips out of their way to visit a merchant or service, only to find a note similar to the above. It seems there’s an simple opportunity here for merchants to deal with unplanned closings in a more customer-focused way. Instead of just leaving a barely-comforting “sorry for the inconvenience,” perhaps they include something to the effect of “Did you come here specifically to visit us? Let us make it up to you: call/text/tweet and we’ll arrange a time for you to come in.”
Certainly there’s the risk of less scrupulous customers potentially taking advantage of the offer when just passing by just to get a discount. But by offering concessions and a personal meeting with customers who would otherwise be alienated, merchants can both have a conversation that helps weed out the fakes and while connecting with genuine customers on an important level.